Former PM Manmohan Singh releases Congress manifesto for Punjab

The manifesto will be released by Manohan Singh in Delhi and simultaneously in key cities in Punjab

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New Delhi, Dec 29: The Congress manifesto for the 2017 Punjab assembly elections was released by former prime minister Manmohan Singh, whose inputs were sought by the party during its drafting, a party statement said on Thursday.

The All India Congress Committee in-charge of Punjab affairs Asha Kumari and Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh held a meeting here on Thursday on the matter.

Manmohan to release Cong manifesto

Manmohan Singh is a celebrated economist who is credited with ushering in the liberalisation of the Indian economy in the early 1990s as Union finance minister in the cabinet of then prime minister P V Narasimha Rao.

Also read: Congress gets boost in Punjab, several Shiromani Akali Dal, the Aam Aadmi Party and the Bhartiya Janata Party leaders join

Some of the commitments of the Congress' manifesto

Employment

1. The manifesto promises a job in every household over the next five years.

2. Unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 per month; 33 per cent reservation for women in all government jobs, including contractual employment

3. 25,000 tractors with other tools for unemployed youth

Trade and industry

1. Setting up of industrial urban corridor between Amritsar and Chandigarh along GT Road axis and along Hoshiarpur-Gurdaspur Road

2. Electricity tariff for industry to be frozen at Rs 5 per unit for the next 5 years

3. Enhancement of industrial development fund to Rs 1,000 crore and special budgetary allocation for industrial development

4. Special provisions to strengthen hosiery industry, etc

Agriculture

1. Guaranteed loan waivers

2. Continuation of free power to farmers

3. New law to prevent sale and kurki of farmers' land by lending agencies

4. Farmers' pension scheme raising ex-gratia to families of suicide victims to Rs 10 lakh

5. Increase in crop compensation, crop insurance

Minority empowerment

1. Free house or land to homeless families in stipulated categories having annual income less than Rs 5 lakh

2. Strict enforcement of SC reservation in government jobs, job for at least one person in every SC family

3. Increase in government job reservation for OBCs from 12 per cent to 15 per cent

4. OBC reservation in educational institutions to be doubled (from 5 to 10 per cent)

5. Waiver of loan for minorities for self-employment activities

Education

1. Six per cent of state GDP on development of education

2. Regularisation of all contractual teachers and redressal of teachers' grievances

3. 33 per cent seats in government-run colleges with free education for poor, meritorious, SC and OBC students

Water

1. Water of Punjab rivers only for people of the state

2. No new canal construction, including Satlej-Yamuna Link, to be allowed

3. Intra-state river water distribution and infrastructure to be strengthened

"Asha Kumari and Amarinder discussed with Manmohan Singh the key points of the manifesto, which will now be given the final shape by the Punjab Congress Manifesto Committee led by former Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Badal," said the statement.

Asha Kumari said: "The party decided to take Manmohan Singh's views on the manifesto draft in view of his expertise on economic issues."

"The Congress does not believe in taking arbitrary decisions, without understanding the nuances of the subject, and felt it was important to involve the former Prime Minister in the manifesto's finalisation, given its impact on the people of Punjab," Asha Kumari said.

Amarinder said: "The former Prime Minister gave his valuable inputs on the manifesto -- a comprehensive document addressing issues relating to every section of Punjab's people."

He added that the manifesto was simultaneously released in key cities of Punjab to coincide with its release in New Delhi by Manmohan Singh to ensure it reaches the maximum number of people.

IANS

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